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Combined I-124 Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Imaging of NIS Gene Expression in Animal Models of Stably Transfected and Intravenously Transfected Tumor



With the advent of replication competent viruses for cancer gene therapy, it has become imperative to monitor the biodistribution, expression and replication of these vectors in living organisms. We evaluated the potential of I-124 positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) imaging in gene therapy animal models utilizing the sodium iodide symporter (NIS) and compared the findings to I-123 gamma camera imaging.


CB17 SCID mice were implanted with myeloma cell lines expressing NIS or infected by MV-NIS given systemically. Mice were imaged by both gamma camera (I-123) and PET/CT (I-124 ) and image quality assessed.


NIS expressing tumors concentrated 7.1% of the injected activity while tumors infected with the control virus had only 0.3% of the activity injected.


I-124 PET/CT in combination with NIS allows the tracking of stably transfected tumors or intravenously transfected tumors. Combined modality imaging using PET/CT allows accurate and non-invasive imaging of the distribution and gene expression of a replicating viral vector in living systems.

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The authors acknowledge the expert technical assistance of Royce Ruter (gamma camera imaging), Mary E. Harvey (veterinary technologist) and Dr Rafael Fonseca, Mayo Clinic, Rochester for the MM1 cell line. This work was supported by grants CA 83181 and CA 91956 from the National Institutes of Health, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Mayo Foundation.

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Correspondence to Val J. Lowe MD.

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Dingli, D., Kemp, B.J., O’Connor, M.K. et al. Combined I-124 Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography Imaging of NIS Gene Expression in Animal Models of Stably Transfected and Intravenously Transfected Tumor. Mol Imaging Biol 8, 16–23 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11307-005-0025-0

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Key words

  • Sodium iodide symporter
  • Isotopes
  • Measles virus
  • Virotherapy
  • Oncolysis
  • Molecular imaging
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Computerized tomography
  • Gamma camera